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Gunners deny Wilshere injury setback

Arsenal have moved to dismiss suggestions that midfielder Jack Wilshere is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, insisting he should return to action in their next Premier League game against Reading at the end of this month.

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Rumours suggesting Wilshere's latest heal problem could see the midfielder miss a large chunk of what is left of this season had been circulating, forcing an Arsenal spokesman to issue an update on the condition of the 21-year-old midfielder.

Wilshere has spent some time in Dubai as he recovers from an injury setback that means he will miss England's two upcoming World Cup qualifiers, but it seems he is on course to return within the original timescale set out by manager Arsene Wenger.

"Nothing has changed in Jack's recovery, there's no setback or further damage to his ankle and no concern about any long-term problems," said a club spokesperson, in quotes appearing in several newspapers.

"Jack was told to rest and we are still on course for him to resume training and be available for selection for the home game against Reading."

Wilshere is nursing an ankle injury not related to the problems that contributed to his 17-month spell on the treatment table, yet boss Wenger had confirmed there is a danger his talisman could be face another long-term problem if he continues to play on the inflamed foot that has forced his latest spell on the side lines.

Meanwhile, many British bookmakers have now installed Arsenal as favourites to finish ahead of north London rivals Tottenham in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League, after a weekend that saw the Gunners win at Swansea and Spurs suffer a home defeat against Fulham.

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